Yesterday, The Florida Times-Union featured MetroJacksonville.com on the cover of the Business section in an article about organizations that have had an impact on positive change in downtown. However, don’t try finding this section in any paper downtown. After purchasing newspapers from 12 different newspaper vending machines downtown, Metro Jacksonville could not find one newspaper that had a business section in it. In each paper, the business section was missing. In fact, the closest place that we could find a business section was several miles away in the far remote part of Jacksonville called Five Points.Who would perpetrate such as heinous act? We have our theories...
Eyewitnesses reported that they saw two men rifling through the newspapers at one vending machine. Could those two men be responsible for voiding the downtown area of its vital business news?
The list of suspects is long, the list of motives is extensive, and the resources of these people are endless. Who are these people, you wonder? Well, after hours of research into the facts behind this scandalous deed, we’ve narrowed our list of suspects down to six. And they are:
Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI)
Head of Downtown Vision, Terry Lorince
Maybe they did: The article didn’t portray Downtown Vision as doing much other than the First Wednesday Art Walk, and being a minion to the mayor’s office. Further feelings of ill-will may have resulted from UrbanJacksonville.info blogger Joey Marchy, who was quoted as saying, "Downtown Vision is more about tricking people into coming downtown with Art Walk, and then getting them to stay to see [Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville]."
Maybe they didn’t: The henchmen of DVI (The Downtown Ambassadors) are not known as the stealthiest of individuals. The orange uniforms and tall hat don’t exactly blend in with the downtown environment. Plus, the eyewitnesses did not recall seeing any orange men or women in the vicinity of the crime scenes.
Dave Siebert (City Council Candidate for District 14 /Beer Man)
Maybe he did: The article didn’t mention much about Siebert’s interviews that appear frequently on MetroJacksonville.com. Siebert was also allegedly upset with the Times-Union after insinuating that he was too busy partying at the Jacksonville Barracudas games to speak at a recent City Council meeting (read the details http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/021807/met_8040659.shtml )
Maybe he didn’t: According to Siebert’s social schedule, he was to appear at several locations in the Argyle area on the day in question. We are currently in the process of trying to find any witness that may have seen Siebert at any of his scheduled campaign locations, but we’ve had a rough time.
Public Parking Enforcement Officials (Meter Maids)
Maybe they did: One of Metro Jacksonville’s main focuses was improving the parking situation downtown, and the alleged hostility displayed by the public parking personnel. Public parking personnel have allegedly threatened to boycott Boomtown Supperclub because of Metro Jacksonville’s criticism of parking enforcement
Maybe they didn’t: Monday was President’s Day, a federal holiday. Public Parking personnel work for the government. Does anyone honestly thing that anyone from public parking was within a day’s drive of downtown?
Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA)
Maybe they did: Along with parking, the other thing that Metro Jacksonville has been very critical of is the JTA’s proposed Bus Rapid Transit system. Apparently, the JTA thinks it makes sense to spend a billion dollars on elevated bus lanes down I-95, when Austin, Nashville, Orlando, Santa Fe and many other middle tier cities have spent pennies on the BRT dollar for commuter rail systems (see Metro Jacksonville’s five-part Commuter Rail study at http://www.metrojacksonville.com/content/category/5/18/33/ ). The JTA is upset that Metro Jacksonville dares challenge them on their plan, especially since the JTA has such a tremendous track record of completing and enhancing mass transit projects.
Maybe they didn’t: Monday was President’s Day, a federal holiday. See Public Parking above.
The Mayor’s Office
Maybe they did: Metro Jacksonville has strongly opposed some of the Mayor’s plans, like the Big Ideas plan and the Brad Thoburn appointment. One of Metro Jacksonville’s members’ makes Susie Wiles work a lot.
Maybe they didn’t: The particular article that featured Metro Jacksonville spoke highly of Mayor Peyton and his willingness to listen to their ideas, portraying the mayor as a kind, gentle giant of a leader. And the most damaging piece of evidence to the prosecution; copies of the Times-Union at Gate gas stations included the business section! If the mayor’s office was going to take the time to remove the business sections from all of downtown, wouldn’t they have extended the courtesy to customers of the family business?
Perhaps there is a perfectly logical explanation to all of this. Maybe the two men rifling through the newspaper vending machines were just inspectors, making sure that the machine’s hinges were properly oiled. Could the Times-Union have messed up on only the downtown papers that were sold in vending machines? Or is their another explanation?
If you or someone you know has any evidence, surveillance footage, or information that may help Metro Jacksonville bring this vitally important investigation to a close, please contact us immediately.